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1 January 1997 Retrieval method for upper-tropospheric water vapor profiles from shuttle-borne microwave measurements
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The small amount of water vapor in the upper troposphere plays an important role in the Earth's climate system, e.g. by determining the occurrence and distribution of cirrus clouds. However, only little is known about the vertical distribution of upper tropospheric humidity (UTH). In this paper we propose a method for the retrieval of UTH from measurements taken by the Millimeter wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS) onboard the space shuttle. MAS is a microwave limb sounder that was originally built to measure trace gases in the stratosphere and mesosphere. One of its channels around 204 Hz is sensitive to the amount of water vapor near the tangent point down to altitudes of about 7 km. Retrievals performed with simulated data have shown promising results. First comparisons with measured data show large discrepancies between actual measurements and the predictions of the widely used Liebe model. Preliminary results suggest that the Liebe model strongly underestimates the dry air continuum in this frequency range for the limb-sounding geometry.
© (1997) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Dietrich G. Feist, Reto Peter, and Niklaus A. Kaempfer "Retrieval method for upper-tropospheric water vapor profiles from shuttle-borne microwave measurements", Proc. SPIE 3220, Satellite Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere II, (1 January 1997);

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